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At graphicdesign.com we relish the opportunity to showcase inspirational talent and wanted to find out more about the work of Carl Rylatt.

We chatted to Carl, exploring both his graphic design journey and, this fantastic new font…

Describe yourself and your work?

I’ve been a designer now for about 13 years, I started off designing club flyers and posters, as I think many designers do, for no money, again as I think many designers also do! I’ve always been quite involved in music, from being in bands when I was younger to promoting concerts and tours a bit later on in life. Design always ran in tandem with my various involvements in the music industry until it reached a point where it overtook those involvements and became my career.

I freelanced for a while, actually getting paid for gig posters! Which is possible, contrary to popular belief! I then got offered a job in a small design studio based in Cardiff where I learned the ways of studio life. I left there in 2011 to gain wider experience in London where I have worked for a diverse range of clients such as ITV, Marks and Spencer, Nokia and Harrods.

Laudanum
Photo credit: Carl Rylatt Design

Which has been your favorite assignment in your design career to date?

I don’t know if I have one particular favorite although there is one regular project that remains close to my heart. Whilst I was still promoting concerts in Cardiff, a friend of mine teamed up with Huw Stephens, the Radio One Dj, to start an inner city music festival called SŴN (which means noise or sound in welsh). This began in 2007 and I have designed all the printed material associated with it every year since then. It’s a project that still keeps me in touch with the music roots that essentially began my career so this remains my favorite as it reminds me of where it all began.

Laudanum
Photo credit: Carl Rylatt Design

You have recently designed a fantastic vintage font called Laudanum; where did the idea for this come from?

The idea didn’t really come from anything specific, it’s more of a representation of a mood I get from studying 18th/19th and early 20th century graphics and lettering. I have to say, this is how a lot of my design comes about, a kind of osmosis rather than specifics. I think mood is very important to me and it’s often this kind of abstraction of thought that translates mood best, rather than pinpoint focus on details. As a result I think you couldn’t really describe Laudanum as being authentically of that era, I think it conveys the mood though whilst having a distinct personality of its own as well as being transparent enough for other designers to bring whatever they want to it.

Laudanum
Photo credit: Carl Rylatt Design

How did you develop the concept for Laudanum into a finished product?

It began life as a small piece of lettering i’d custom drawn for a poster. I custom draw sections of type on my music posters often, to keep them unique and outside of trends in font usage. I remember a few years back that almost every poster I saw had Avant Garde Bold at -50 kerning, it was everywhere! So basically I like to have something on my posters that is distinctly mine and Laudanum began as just that. It lent itself most though to the possibility of developing it further into a proper typeface.

I basically drew it all in Illustrator, it’s actually a modular typeface in nature, and then made a few experimental pieces of type layout and specimen sheets. At this point I hadn’t considered turning it into a font and was really just going to keep the Illustrator files as a resource for myself for use on future posters. However, I published my little sketches on Behance.net and the good people at www.tendollarfonts.com asked me whether I would be interested in making it available publicly through their site. The rest as they say is history!

Orgue Electronique
Photo credit: Carl Rylatt Design

What will be your next creative mission?

Well, I have SŴN 2013 coming up, so that will occupy a reasonable amount of my time outside of work until October. I also am working on another new font which I hope should be ready in the next month or two. Another consideration (this one is more logistical than creative) is that I just moved to Brighton where I am hoping to get much more involved creatively in the coming months and maybe reduce my commute to London!

Legowelt
Photo credit: Carl Rylatt Design

Carl Rylatt is a creative with exceptional drive, a notion which can be seen from the club posters he initially worked on right through to the introduction of Laudanum 13 years later. This interview highlights the evolution of a design career, offering valuable inspiration and insight for others in the industry.

Which is YOUR favorite of Carl’s designs?

See more of Carl Rylatt’s work HERE.

Toro Y Moi
Photo credit: Carl Rylatt Design

Islet
Photo credit: Carl Rylatt Design